Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Potassium silver cyanide
Identification Number: CASRN | 506-61-6

  Substance Attributes


  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Pesticide | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Synthetic Toxin
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | | Organonitrogen compounds | Nitriles |
  • SYNONYMS: Potassium argentocyanide | Potassium bis(cyano-C)argentate(1-) | Potassium dicyanoargentate | Potassium silver(I) cyanide | Silver potassium cyanide
  • DESCRIPTION: Potassium silver cyanide is a chemical compound of potassium silver, and cyanide. It is used in silver plating, as a bactericide, and in the manufacture of antiseptics. Silver is a metallic element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. It occurs naturally in its pure, free form, as an alloy with gold and other metals, and in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. (L808, L809, L551)
  • COMMENTS:
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C2ArKN2
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: T3DB | PubChem
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Cyanide poisoning is identified by rapid, deep breathing and shortness of breath, general weakness, giddiness, headaches, vertigo, confusion, convulsions/seizures and eventually loss of consciousness. Exposure to high levels of silver for a long period of time may result in a condition called arygria, a blue-gray discoloration of the skin and other body tissues. Argyria is a permanent effect but does not appear to be harmful to health. Exposure to high levels of silver in the air has resulted in breathing problems, lung and throat irritation, and stomach pains. Skin contact with silver can cause mild allergic reactions such as rash, swelling, and inflammation in some people. (L808, L96, L97)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Exposure to high levels of cyanide for a short time harms the brain and heart and can even cause coma, seizures, apnea, cardiac arrest and death. Chronic inhalation of cyanide causes breathing difficulties, chest pain, vomiting, blood changes, headaches, and enlargement of the thyroid gland. Skin contact with cyanide salts can irritate and produce sores. Exposure to high levels of silver for a long period of time may result in a condition called arygria, a blue-gray discoloration of the skin and other body tissues. Argyria is a permanent effect but does not appear to be harmful to health. While silver itself is not toxic, most silver salts are, and may damage the liver, kidney, and central nervous system, as well as be carcinogenic. (L808, L809, L810, L96, L97) | Cyanide is rapidly alsorbed through oral, inhalation, and dermal routes and distributed throughout the body. Cyanide is mainly metabolized into thiocyanate by either rhodanese or 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfur transferase. Cyanide metabolites are excreted in the urine. Silver compounds can also be absorbed orally and dermally. It distributes throughout the body in the blood, particularily to the liver. Insoluble silver salts are transformed into soluble silver sulfide albuminates, bind to amino or carboxyl groups in RNA, DNA, and proteins, or are reduced to metallic silver by ascorbic acid or catecholamines. Metallic silver is oxidized and may deposit in the tissues, causing arygria. Silver is eliminated primarily in the faeces. (L808, L96)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Cyanide is an inhibitor of cytochrome c oxidase in the fourth complex of the electron transport chain (found in the membrane of the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells). It complexes with the ferric iron atom in this enzyme. The binding of cyanide to this cytochrome prevents transport of electrons from cytochrome c oxidase to oxygen. As a result, the electron transport chain is disrupted and the cell can no longer aerobically produce ATP for energy. Tissues that mainly depend on aerobic respiration, such as the central nervous system and the heart, are particularly affected. Cyanide is also known produce some of its toxic effects by binding to catalase, glutathione peroxidase, methemoglobin, hydroxocobalamin, phosphatase, tyrosinase, ascorbic acid oxidase, xanthine oxidase, succinic dehydrogenase, and Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase. Cyanide binds to the ferric ion of methemoglobin to form inactive cyanmethemoglobin. Metallic silver is oxidized and may deposit in the tissues, causing arygria. The silver ion is known to inhibit glutathione peroxidase and NA+,K+-ATPase activity, disrupting selenium-catalyzed sulfhydryl oxidation-reduction reactions and intracellular ion concentrations, respectively. Silver nanoparticles are believed to disrupt the mitochondrial respiratory chain, causing oxidative stress, reduced ATP synthesis, and DNA damage. (L808, A243, A244, A245, A246, L97) | Cyanide inhibits alkaline phosphatases. (A73)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Potassium silver cyanide is used in silver plating, as a bactericide, and in the manufacture of antiseptics. (L551)

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  Exposure Routes

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